PARENTS who complain their children spend too much time hunched over a mobile phone on YouTube or Snapchat might do well to take a look at their own habits, according to a new research.

More than half of children want their parents to lose their phones – according to a survey by, an online platform for childcarers, parents and tutors.

More than 2,000 parents took part in the survey based on what New Year’s resolution their kids wanted them to make. As well as losing their phones, a quarter wanted their parents to quit smoking.

According to the findings, parents spend on average three hours a day on their phones – Facebook being the most popular platform. Other popular sites included Instagram and games such as Candy Crush and Words With Friends.

Of the children whose parents took part in the survey, 58%were girls and 42% were boys, aged between five and 12.

Launched in 2009, allows parents to search for and connect with babysitters, childminders, nannies, nurseries and private tutors and allows childcare providers to advertise their services.

Its founder, Richard Conway, said: “We live in a digital age and children are used to technology being a regular fixture in our lives, however the survey results indicate that children are very aware of how much time we spend on our phones, so maybe we should make a conscious effort to be aware of it as well and take action.”

But Charlotte Furness, a mother-of-five from Bradford, says her mobile phone has given her the flexibility to fit around her family.

“From my point of view my mobile phone has allowed me to be at home with my children,” says Charlotte, who set up a subscription box business using her mobile three years ago after having her fifth child.

Charlotte says she spends around three hours a day on her mobile, but weaves her work around caring for her children aged three, five, seven, 13 and 16 – and she always switches the internet off at night, and does not go online when spending quality time with her children. “If the children want to do something I will do something with them,” says Charlotte.

She believes parents need to be more mindful of the time they spend on their phones. “It’s being mindful about it but society is so different. Phones are a lifeline,” she says.

Netmums editor-in-chief Anne-Marie O’Leary says: “While I’m not surprised more kids say they want their parents to look at their phones less than give up smoking – purely because everyone has a phone and hardly anyone smokes – it does make me think that we’ve still got a long way to go before we really get our heads around using our phones sensibly. Myself included.

“One of my new year’s resolutions is to only check social media work – I need it for my work but I really don’t need it at home. Does anyone any more?

“Another is to keep up the running commentary that I use when I have to use my phone in front of my kids: while I try and keep phone time to a minimum in front of them, I do have to make doctor’s appointments, book the trampoline park, order her a new gymnastics leotard, buy him more V-Bucks – all things I’m sure they want me to do, but something I’m clear to spell out to them.

“They haven’t a clue what I’m doing when I have my nose in my iPhone otherwise.

“But ultimately – and this is an important point – neither does anyone else. And this survey is guilty of making judgements about parents and their phone usage.

“When it harps on about some parents using it for, shock horror, three hours a day, let’s not forget that for all we know, they spent all their time on their phone that day doing the Ocado shop, booking Johnny’s violin lessons and arranging next week’s playdates.

“A mobile phone is a wonderful, liberating, life-enhancing, communication tool. We all need to remember that.”